This Day in Black History: January 12
FEATURED: Lorraine Hansberry
1904: Hill country blues singer and guitarist Mississippi Fred McDowell was born. He passed in 1972 (cancer), aged 68.
1915: Margaret Danner was born. she was a poet, editor and cultural activist known for her poetic imagery and her celebration of African heritage and cultural forms. She passed in 1984, aged, aged 69.
1916: Jay McShann was born. He was a jump blues, mainstream jazz & swing bandleader, pianist & singer. He passed in 2006, aged 90.
1920: Civil rights leader James L. Farmer, Jr. was born. He initiated and organized the 1961 Freedom Ride which eventally led to the desegregation of inter-state transportation in the U.S. He passed in 1999, aged 79.
1928: Singer, songwriter & actress Ruth Brown was born. She passed in 2006, aged 78.
1944: Boxing legend & Olympic Gold medalist Joe Frazier was born. He passed in 2011, aged 67.
1946: George Duke was born. He was a composer, musician, singer & producer. He passed in 2013, aged 67.
1946: Happy Birthday to Cynthia Robinson who turns 68 today. Original member & trumpet player in the group Sly & the Family Stone.
1948: Activist Khalid Abdul Muhammad was born. He passed away in 2001, aged 53 (aneurysm).
1951: Happy Birthday to Sportscaster Drew Pearson who turns 63 today.
1952: Happy Birthday to Award winning novelist Walter Mosley who turns 62 today.
1960: Happy Birthday to NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins who turns 54 today.
1965: Playwright and writer Lorraine Hansberry died after a battle with pancreatic cancer at age 34. She was the first black woman to write a play performed on Broadway.
1970: Happy Birthday to rapper Raekon who turns 44 today.
1974: “Until You Come Back To Me” by Aretha Franklin was the #1 R&B song.
1980: Happy Birthday to singer & actress Amerie who turns 34 today.
1982: Happy Birthday to MLB player Dontrelle Willis aka ‘The D-Train’ who turns 32 today.
1991: The National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS) was founded.
1994: Malcolm X’s daughter was arrested for plotting Louis Farrakham’s murder.
1995: The murder trial against OJ Simpson began in Los Angeles, CA.
1997: Pro golfer Tiger Woods won the Mercedes Championships.
2007: Alice Coltrane passed away, aged 69. She was a jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer.
2007: Trombonist & teacher Jimmy Cheatham passed away, aged 83.
2008: Anti-violence activist Terrell Rogers was fatally shot during the halftime period of his daughter’s b-ball game. He was 39 years old.
2010: An earthquake hit Haiti and took the lives of an estimated 316,000 and destroying the majority of the capital Port-au-Prince.
2010: Art Rust Jr. passed away, aged 82. He was a pioneering figure in New York radio sports talk shows and a sports historian whose books focused on the interplay of race and athletics.
2013: Benjamin Demps passed away, aged 79. He was a former Kansas City school superintendent.